Halloween Pumpkin Carving: My Favorite Designs

by | Halloween

Halloween is my absolute favorite time of year! I love Fall, sweater weather, and pumpkin-spiced everything! As a designer, it’s so fun to build my creative skills doing something crafty, and pumpkin carving is one of those ways to flex those skills. I get really into my designs every year! In the past, I’ve carved a unicorn pumpkin, butterfly, Tinkerbell, and Harry Potter themed pumpkins – Dobby the House Elf and the phrase “Lumos” with an ignited wand. Below you can read my best tips for carving your pumpkin, and see some designs and Halloween fun of years past. Happy Halloween! I hope you have the most fun this season!

PUMPKIN CARVING

BUTTERFLY + TINKERBELL PUMPKIN VIDEO

In the above video, you can learn my best tips and the tools I used to carve a winged butterfly and Tinkerbell into two pumpkins. They turned out amazing! And since Halloween was on a full moon, I got some amazing shots of the pumpkins against the backdrop of the full moon. 

If you are interested in carving the Tinkerbell pumpkin, here is a link to the pumpkin pattern I found online.

PUMPKIN CARVING TIPS

RESEARCH

Give yourself a few weeks time to plan out your design. I go on Pinterest and search “pumpkin carving” for inspo. Sometimes I’ll go for a theme like Harry Potter, or Winged Things.

One of my favorite sites for finding donation-based pumpkin designs is from The Pumpkin Lady. They have removed advertising from their site, and have a “buy a coffee” button on their site for donations to keep it running and ad-free.

SIZING YOUR DESIGN

When you buy your pumpkins, you may need to do some tweaking at the printer/copy machine to bring your design down to size. Every pumpkin is different. 

It’s best to buy pumpkins that are somewhat flat on one side, as it makes it a little easier to carve a design into a flat surface versus a curved one.

Once you buy your pumpkins, print out your design and see if it fits on the face of your pumpkin. If it doesn’t, you may need to play around on the copy machine to get it to size. I usually try to shrink it 20%, and then work from there. It may take a few tries to get it right.

SUPPLIES

Pumpkin carving gets really messy! Make sure you cover your workspace with some newspapers to make a big mess of pumpkin pulp on. 

PUMPKIN CARVING KIT

I’d highly recommend investing in a pumpkin carving kit. This is the kit I purchased from Amazon. They include tools that help you achieve the intricate details you see on some of the more fancy pumpkin designs. The kit I listed above has some important tools like a scooper for scooping out pulp, and a wheel for transferring pumpkin design.

Any design that has words or letters is more complicated, and is going to take more time to carve than a design with larger, rounder shapes.

EXECUTING YOUR FINAL DESIGN

First, you’ll want to carve a lid in your pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. My favorite childhood memory of carving pumpkin was when my mom would scoop out the pumpkin and roast the seeds – they were so yummy!

To have them fresh for Halloween and give myself enough time to carve, I usually carve the day of Halloween or the day before. You can make it a team effort, and have someone carve a lid and scoop out the pumpkin, then have someone else transfer the pattern and carve the design.

Next, you’ll want to transfer the pattern to your pumpkin. You’ll need to tape your design onto the pumpkin, then poke out dots along the outline of your design, or use the rolling poker wheel to trace along the design if your pumpkin carking kit includes one.

Finally, you’ll remove the taped design and then use the various tools in your pumpkin kit to carve out your design. The smaller tools are best for carving out the small areas and intricate details.

I hope that helps you carve your pumpkin this year! Below are some of my favorite designs from years past. Enjoy!

If you’d like to check out some of my pumpkin artwork, you can check out my halloween jack-o-lantern design and other cute designs in my art shop. Thank you for your support!

PAST PUMPKINS

HARRY POTTER THEMED PUMPKIN CARVING

DOBBY THe Elf + Lumos

BUTTERFLY PUMPKIN Carving

TINKERBELL PUMPKIN Carving

The Tinkerbell design was carved with this pumpkin pattern.

UNICORN PUMPKIN Carving

This unicorn design is from The Pumpkin Lady. Her site is donation-based, so be sure to drop some change on her “buy me a coffee” button if you purchase a design.

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Hi, I’m Aliya. Thanks for checking out my page! I’m a producer, designer and world traveler and this is where I share all my tips & adventures. I have nearly a decade of experience working in media for companies like NBC & Tribune Media, and I love using my design & media background to help women entrepreneurs create amazing content for their brands. If you’d like to work with me and hire me as your content producer please check out the Services tab above.

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